It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Dr Rosemary Kelly who is retiring from the Union.
Rosemary has without doubt made a massive and extraordinary contribution to the Union and the union movement. She has been a tireless and fearless advocate for members since coming to the Union in the 1990s.
Rosemary has been described as an iron fist in a velvet glove, a description we definitely agree with. She has made sure that members’ rights aren’t trashed while being polite and very patient, even in the face of clear contempt and ridiculous arguments.
Rosemary has always challenged the orthodoxy of management of health services whether they’re public, community or private employers; and never backed down when bad management was trying to get away with undermining members’ rights. Without her contribution, many of the benefits members enjoy today might not have come about.
As one member described seeing Rosemary in action: Perhaps what I admire most is her passion. Despite not being a psychologist, she knows psychologists. Watching her elegantly snooker a group of senior psychologists, who were dogmatically resisting providing supervision for all in the last EBA, into admitting that this was actually what happened in practice and what was required was pure poetry.
She has not only made a significant contribution to our Union, but she was also an important figure when it came to blazing a trail in male-dominated unions as a strong, committed and indominable force.
Rosemary was also a force not to be trifled with when it came to rooting out and standing up to corruption in the union movement. We will never forget her determination to ensure that members were not taken advantage of by corrupt union officials, regardless of the potential cost or consequences.
Not only that but Rosemary has also made a significant contribution to our superannuation. She has been a diligent and methodical director of Aware Super, pushing for a more sophisticated approach to the investment of members’ funds and encouraging investment in more environmentally sustainable investments.
Rosemary will be taking long service leave, which we all agree is very well deserved and long overdue, and following this leave Rosemary will retire from the Union.